Are you Obsessed with Lip Balm?
My husband sure is. Countless times each day I hear, “Honey, do you have any lip balm?” or “Where’s the chap-stick?”
Yes, I just threw him under the bus, but I did it to serve the greater good – to get the word out once more about lip balm addiction and help explain it for the sake of the innocent out there. Lip balm, everything from Carmex to Lancome’s Juicy Tubes, is addictive and feeding this addiction has contributed millions to the Cosmetic Industry.
The active ingredients in lip balm, ingredients like beeswax, silicone, mineral oil and other petroleum derivatives are occlusive. They sit atop the skin creating a barrier. This barrier helps prevent skin moisture from evaporating, which provides immediate relief for dry chapped skin, but it also prevents the skin from breathing and tricks the skin into thinking that no extra moisture is needed. Therefore the skin doesn’t produce any extra oil or moisture for lubrication.
What does all this mean, exactly? These occlusive products provide immediate relief for dry skin but make lips drier in the process, and this is what creates the addiction. When you run out of chap-stick, your lips automatically start to feel dry. You lick your lips without thinking…an automatic reaction. Soon, your lips feel tight, dry and possibly a but rough. This is when the panic starts to set in and you search for your tube of waxy goodness to make it all better again. This is great for product sales, but not so great for your lips, or your skin. Yes, you can reapply lip balm 10 times a day for the entire winter season…but why not break the cycle and start on a healthier path?
Here’s what I suggest:
Quit cold turkey! Keep lips moist in the same way you’d keep your skin moist. Include your lips in your daily home care regime and be sure to stay hydrated internally by getting enough water and healthy fats in your daily diet. If you absolutely need something on your lips for protection (i.e. you are skiing down a mountain or hiking in the desert,) choose a balm that is based in natural, not man-made, ingredients – like shea nut butter, for example. Lip Gloss is something every girl loves, providing perfect color and shine. However, use it solely for cosmetic purposes to avoid becoming a fiend.